Angie Scarth-Johnson becomes the first Australian woman to send a 9a by Victimas del Futur in Margalef. She did her first 8c at age 11 when she had a three months homeschooling trip with her non-climbing parents in Spain. From that old interview we have some interesting quotes. "I don’t have a trainer, I tried for a couple of months having an online trainer but it didn’t work out, so I just went back to training myself.
I write my own programs and have done this since I was 8. I find that this really works for me." (c) Jan Novak
How was the process taking it down?
Well it started last season here in Margalef. I started to break it down bit by bit. Victimas has a crux section right at the top which cost me so much endurance. My body and especially my mind needed time to adapt to having to pull hard right after 8c+ climbing into the final crux. I’m happy to have sent it finally at the beginning of this season and I hope to try another 9a project 😃.
How long have you stayed in Margalef, what about homeschooling and when will you return to Australia?
I stayed last season and I will stay again and maybe travel around! At the moment I have no plans for returning to Australia because of the COVID restrictions! I have finished my homeschooling 🙏😃
Daniel Woods has repeated Andy Raether's Manphibian 9a and Spyfiction 8c+ in Mt Charleston. "I did Spyfiction my first day in three tries. It ends halfway up the wall and to the right. Two days later I came back for the extension which is Manphibian and that took three tries." (c) Eric Fallecker
What is next?
Mm only have two more days left here. There is a left entrance into Manphibian that starts with an 8A+ boulder. Gonna see what happens with that then back to CO. I will start getting ready for this boulder project I have in Eldorado canyon that is the same difficulty as ROTSW (9A).
Dan Mirsky has done his third 9a, out of which the second in 2021, Planet Garbage in Rifle. "My hardest route to date, in my opinion. Very bouldery, dynamic and sustained, a hard style for me. The real action is connecting two boulders. One is a huge and low percentage dyno V 10? (7C+) The second is a sustained and more technical section with bad feet V10? Last year I was 1 for 30??? on the jump from the ground. This year I stuck it 5 times and took it to the top on the 5th on a perfect afternoon supported by good people and belayed by one of my oldest buddies, Unbelievably psyched!!" (c) Dylan Alvarez
The day after you did Waka Flocka Flame 8c+. How have you been able to level up your game being 39-years-old?
Simply put, I have been eating better, drinking slightly less Hazy IPAs beer, meditating daily and frequently holding on to my hang board with my feet on the ground.🤪 I’m a pretty serious beer geek🤓 so I am always on the hunt for new and more delicious beers. Sometimes that doesn’t help the sending…
Hangboard with your feet on the ground?
The idea is you do the minimum amount of work to create the desired response. By doing less you recover faster and can “train” again sooner.
Laura Rogora reports on Insta, with a picture by Stefano Ghisolfi, that she has done the FA of Iron Man, 9a in Bus De Vela. Stefano comments, "I tried it a couple of time and I can say it's hard!"
When it comes to rock climbing, the 20-year-old is superior among the female having done 20 routes 8c+/9a and harder. When it comes to competitions, the Italian has won two Lead World Cups and in the last World Champion, she got the bronze.
Gio Placci, Italian Boulder and Lead winner in 2021, has done Coup de Grace in Ticino after just three days. "Coupe de grace has always inspired m. I watched a lot of videos of the route and it seemed amazing. After the finish of the world cups, I decided to try it. Two weeks ago I came there two days to check the route. For me, the harder part was the lower one because of the longs moves but the upper part felt easy. This weekend I returned. The temperatures were good and on the first day of the weekend, I sent it!"
18 months ago, you were #77 in the Italian Boulder Cup. How can you explain your amazing progress in the comp scene?
This year I trained a lot for the comp and I climbed less outside. The first part of the year I was focusing on boulder comps, but they didn’t go as expected. The last comp was the Italian championship in Bologna. I didn’t have any expectations. My training for the lead comps had already started and I did that comp just for fun. Sometimes to not have any pressure is good and somehow I managed to become the Italian boulder champion!
Then the lead season started and for me, this was my first year as a Senior, in the first World Cup I couldn’t show my potential, too much pressure. Then I worked a lot in my mindset and in the last one I managed to make the semifinal (Kranj) and after one week I managed to win my first Italian lead cup!
Yves Gravelle has done the FA of Low Miall's 8C at Kanata Tremblant. Video of the intense roof on his Insta, where you also can find some amzing training videos. ”3 months of battling conditions and psychological barriers on this line. The direct Sit start to Miall's ahead, Add a 4 moves V11 to the V14. The line is very physical, 15 moves long , a true power.”
Could you please say something about being a ”3x APL World Champion” as it says in your Insta?
The APL is the Armlifting world federation. I completed in the world championship in 2019 in St. Petersburg. I won gold in The rolling Thunder, Axle and Saxon bar in the 66kg weight class and established class WR in both the rolling thunder and Axle.
I think climbers would be amazing at armlifting and gripsport. Thats why I chose to compete a few years back and give climbers some exposure in the sport. I think climbers would do very well in pinch deadlift events (Saxon Bar) and the hub.
Niki Rusev, who last year did two 9a's, has done Hip Hop 8c+ in Karlukovo. The Bulgarian is also a very successful competition climber who in 2021 has won the Youth World Champion in Boulder and in the European Championship, he won in both Boulder and Speed. In Lead, he has gotten one silver and bronze in the European Cup. (c) Vladimir Pekov
"Hip-hop is a mega classic route in the Prohodna cave. The first I tried the route the weather was hot and humid, so I couldn’t send it in these conditions. I trained what I missed to feel comfortable on the route. I made a simulation of the main crux in the hometown wall and was more focused on fitness exercises. I don’t know, the feeling of being a winner again came back very quickly to my mind and the rocks are the closest to that feeling. The day was windy without sun, about 10 degrees. Perfect for sending. It was in my style for sure, climbed it in eight tries during three sessions. So happy to see it worked out so fast. There are three boulder problems in the route and after each crux there is a good rest and that helped me to figure out the whole fight up to the end!"
Steve McClure, who did his first 9b at age 45, reports on Insta hat he has repeated Neil Gresham's recent FA Lexicon 8b+ R trad (E11 7a) in Pavey Park. "One of the best hard trad routes I’ve ever done. And certainly the scariest." E11 is the highest grade ever in the UK trad scale, which is based on how difficult and dangerous it is to onsight trad routes. Neil has said that it merits 8b+ difficulty and an R added means that it is dangerous. (c) Neil Gresham
Wow! So what did go through your mind falling and how many sessions did it take to send?
Reckon I had about 4 sessions on the line and a lot of info from Neil. And what went through my mind in that lob? Absolutely nothing!! It was SO quick, like an instant. Kind of unnerved me as I expected I’d have time to think or right myself.
Only 4 sessions, amazing! So you took that fall only on your third session?
This route was VERY my style, I could tell as soon as I saw it. Just off vertical, completely continuous, tiny holds and lots of them. Could not have been better. Plus, and for me at the moment, its in just the right place. CV19 obviously messed with travel, and The Lake District is so beautiful. That crag is way up there with a perfect view. I could not think of a better place to be climbing. I did try and lead it fairly quickly, but perhaps was a bit greedy. I knew I had a good chance, but also that I could still fall. I'd analysed the fall and felt it should be just OK.... it was, but only just really. Even the next day on lead, I didn't fall, but I was so close to falling even higher. I think I've a bit to learn!
How long was the fall and how close was it?
The fall was probably about 20-22m. I bounced just a meter or so above the belayer to rest maybe 3 meters above ledges. Fairly close...some margin... maybe plenty for the bold but not so much for a 51 yr old dad.
What about the 8b+ grade?
I think the grade of 8b+ is probably about right, to lead the whole thing placing the gear. There is a few moves I found really hard towards the start of the run-out section, a jump to a sloper, which taller climbers can easily reach... this may effect the grade, I can't tell for them... but maybe their bigger fingers would struggle in the crimps higher up.
Adam Ondra has had another productive weekend in Frankenjura doing two 9a's; Nice freshly baked and House of Cards, for which the latter he gives a personal 8c+ grade. The newly married 28-year-old did also onsight, One Whore’s Town logging it as an 8b. Furthermore, "retro-onsight" of Dr. Kimble auf der Flucht 8b and Odins Tafel 8a+, which he both had tried the beginning of many years ago.
Yesterday, Adam reported with a video on Insta that he has done the FA of 9a in Býčí skála. "Probably on the upper end of the grading scale 👆" The 28-year-old has now logged 188 routes 9a to 9c but it would be around 200 without all his personal grading. We all know about the grade inflation in climbing but thanks to Ondra and a few other top climbers, there is no "hyperinflation".
Adam is featured in La Sportiva - Climbing Sparkling Moments.
Alex Megos reports on Insta that he has flashed Klem Loskot's Intermezzo XY gelöst 9a in Plombergstein. "I got beta from a local, (Roland Wagner) who climbed the route some years ago. He went up, brushed the holds and gave me very detailed beta. 👌🏼"(c) Tobi Ebner
How was the flash? Robot mode with full control?
Oh yes. Total robot mode. You'll see the video in a few days 😉 Pretty much full control. Two moves were a little sketchy.
What are your autumn and winter plans?
It'll be around Europe. Maybe Spain. But let's hope Corona will allow 🙏🏼
What about competitions in 2022?
I don't know about comps yet. I don't think I'll decide until next year. Might do a few...but not sure yet 🤷🏼♂️
by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
Dedicated redpoint climbers may spend years trying to send a chosen route. The way to get there often includes specific physical training, diets, stretching, visualization and the search for perfect friction and patient belayers. Most people don't bother struggling with optimization like this. Here …
A knee pad can turn a crux into a no-hands rest. Just some weeks ago, Jonathan Flor did the first repeat of an old Dani Andrada 9b calling it 9a due to kneebars…
Most climbers have a preferred gripping position which is constantly trained. At the same time, the weak gripping position is avoided as much as possible meanin…
Here are the results based on some 1 000 unique votes.
As you start trying a new climb, you often get set down by not being able to do a certain move although it is within your grade level. The reason for this is mainly that you have not recruited your maximum finger- and general muscular coordination strength for the move. Until you have spent 15 minut…
Here is a draft of who have been the best competition climbers in 2021. It should of course be mentioned that it is totally impossible to make an objective ranking combining all events especially when most have only done half of the competitions. The list is just my personal subjective opinion. Plea…
Here is the Combined Boulder and Lead World Cup ranking 2021. As during the last few years, Japan won but most impressive is again Slovenia with just 2 million inhabitants. USA had their best year ever since Lynn Hill and Robyn Erbesfield winning most of the comps in the 80'ies. It should be noted t…
IFSC has announced that also the World Cup in Seul has been cancelled meaning that the WC season 2021 is over. The Boulder season started in Meiringen and then there were two WCs in Salt Lake City followed by the last in Innsbruck. Here is the Boulder 2021 WC final ranking. It should be mentioned th…
Being 15-years-old, Chaehyun Seo from Korea did her debut in the Lead World Cup, getting the silver after Janja Garnbret. The following four WCs in 2019, still …
Hamish McArthur was the big sensation in the semi, being the only one topping. The 19-year-old who was #7 in Boulder in Moscow, has previously been #19 as his b…